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The Lost Posters | Steve Alford

Posted on July 02 2019


When my wife first showed me the poster she had unearthed from her childhood bedroom my reaction was probably the same as yours right now. What the...How is this possible? Let's rewind before we get to this one. 

It is just after the 1986-87 NCAA basketball season the last that the Hoosiers won a national championship. Steve Alford has just cemented his legacy at IU and in Indiana as an all-time legend. He gets drafted by the Dallas Mavericks and heads off on a barnstorming tour of midwest fairs and festivals.


My first question had to be having my wife describe the scene when the Hoosiers won the championship. It is a quintisential Indiana moment. One I hope to experience in my lifetime. 

Her family is all in their tiny living room despite the fact that they rarely were in their together due to the size of the room and the age gap. This is one of Cassie's first memories at age 4 while her siblings are about a decade her senior. 

They are watching the clock tick down she is observing the tension from her family members from atop the piano. IU is down in the closing moments. Then Smart hits his famous jumper and air in the room begins to expand. Her brother puts on his snow pants and inquires about the location of the famlies stash of fireworks.  The final seconds tick off and Indiana secures it's 5th national championship. What a glorious moment. I can see why it stuck in her mind so well. 



What was it like to unearth these time capsules. A few months ago she was looking for something in her old bedroom and came across this stash of posters. As she unrolled them it was like unrolling a pop culture timeline from 2001 back to 1987. Old Bon Jovi posters, Incubus, and then at the end the shirtless Alford poster. 

I had so many questions. How did this happen? When did this happen? Why did you have this poster at age 4? Who took the picture? Where did you purchase this...Just wild. 

He originally came to Jasper as the Grand Marshal of the Strassenfest Parade. If you look at the photo below you will note that he had his own production company. This guy was an early marketing genius. Besides the posters Cassie and everyone in the vicinity of the parade had Steve Alford everything on. They had Jams shorts with his face on them and the obligatory T-Shirt with the big head caricature. He was the Indiana version of a Tiger Beat Teen Sensation. The culmination of which has to be the shirtless poster. Just a classic time moment of 1987 in Indiana.


Of course, this had me spinning things forward to 2019. Why are athletes not allowed to do this sort of thing? I don't mean specifically the shirtless poster although I'm sure Zion could've sold anything this year. I mean why not give athletes the ability to market themselves. Maybe Alford should resuscitate his production company and take up this mantel or have his son lead the charge for college athletes. Athletes should absolutely be able to sell and profit from their likeness. It could prolong and protect the amateur model that the NCAA values while giving student athletes a window into the real world. Would love to hear about other peoples hidden treasures as well. This discovery was an all-timer.


Josh Barnett

19NINE | H.V.S.

Aaron Meyer

Blogger | H.V.S.

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